Group Leader, Applied Research for Mobility

Date: Sep 9, 2023

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10964 



We are seeking a senior researcher to lead the world class capabilities of the Applied Research for Mobility Group that focuses on advanced hardware-in-the-loop research to accelerate the development of future transportation and mobility technologies from component-level to full vehicle in support of the DOE mission.  This group stewards many unique research laboratories such as the Connected and Automated Vehicle Environment (CAVE) Laboratory and the Vehicle System Integration (VSI) Laboratory to support DOE, industry, and the other national laboratories.


Candidate selection will be based on qualifications, relevant experience, skills, and education. This position is within the Buildings and Transportation Science Division (BTSD), which houses National Transportation Research Center and Building Technology Research and Integration Center, two DOE designated user facilities.



Provide Research and Development (R&D) leadership to the group that strategically advances science and technology consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture.


The R&D Group Leader brings together a group of peers with the primary goal of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, nurtures ORNL’s culture among group members, and continues to build and scale up individual excellence and impact in R&D. The R&D Group Leader reports to and works closely with the R&D Section Head to implement the group’s scientific vision; develops group members to enable their career advancement; establishes capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; performs R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; sets, implements, and models standards for performance of work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules; and ensures a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:


  • Scientists/engineers/analysts are recognized leaders in their area of technical expertise, especially in smart mobility, connected and autonomous vehicles.
  • Initiate, lead and perform independent and impactful R&D on an ongoing basis as evidenced by, for example, innovative S&T delivered to sponsors, successful proposals, S&T presentations, professional community engagement, inventions/patents/copyrights, publications as appropriate, etc.
  • Some of the research in the group includes
    • Identify, collect, and process real-world data, such as road network information (geographic information systems data), traffic density and flow, signal timing plan, fleet population mix, routing, etc., and develop realistic scenarios in traffic microsimulation software and virtual environment/vehicle simulators
    • Establish detailed light-duty (LD), medium-duty (MD), and/or heavy-duty (HD) vehicle models with emerging mobility technology capabilities, such as connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), cooperative driving automation (CDA), and electrified vehicles.  Develop simulations of these vehicles operating in diverse traffic, geographies, and climates to assess impact of emerging mobility technologies on the transportation system
    • Development and implementation of advanced software-in-the-loop (SIL) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems to support advanced powertrain, CAV and CDA control system design, validation, and verification



  1. Develop a vision and implement a cohesive group research strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects to position the group for future success.
  2. Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts.
  3. Assist staff in setting performance goals consistent with the group’s strategy and members’ long-term career goals. Provide feedback to address performance issues in a timely manner.
  4. Provide relevant input to assist the R&D Section Head with staff development while providing direct and impactful guidance to staff on regular basis.
  5. Attract a quality, diverse pool of top candidates and hire staff members who are committed to world-class R&D and aspire to be the best in their field.
  6. Lead by example by exercising the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  7. Coach and mentor staff regarding Battelle’s “Safe Conduct of Research” principles
  8. Lead ESH&Q by example and ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  9. Exemplify a commitment to “One ORNL” by modeling lab expectations for excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and by working cooperatively to leverage capabilities across the lab.
  10. Working with R&D staff to develop, prepare reports, publications, and journal articles.



  1. Serve as immediate supervisor for staff members in group.
  2. Encourage staff to “think and dream big,” take appropriate risks in their work, and develop skills that will enable them to pursue new ideas, scientific passions, and research programs.
  3. Advance the reputation of the group members and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, Professional Society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events.
  4. Ensure ORNL Scientists/engineers continue to be recognized leaders in their area of technical expertise. 
  5. Support group members by consistently reviewing technical products such as proposals, publications, and artifacts to ensure high quality and consistency with ORNL standards.
  6. Build strong teams across ORNL.
  7. Connect staff to your scientific network and professional societies.
  8. Hold regular scientific/technical group meetings and be visible in the labs and workplace.
  9. Assume front-line responsibility for safety in the group’s laboratory; mentor and empower the Laboratory Space Managers to create a strong safety culture.
  10. Effectively communicate the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and complying with ORNL cybersecurity policies and guidelines.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of four years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of seven years relevant experience or a B.S. with eight years relevant experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading R&D teams.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.



  • To group staff, for the quality and safety of their work environment and opportunity for professional growth.
  • To R&D section head, for world-leading science and technology directions, safe effective, and compliant operations, ownership of assigned staff, facilities, and equipment, and the quality of products and services.
  • To customer, for the quality of products and service.



  • Develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading science and technology directions for the R&D group
  • Hold staff accountable for performance
  • Act to ensure safe and effective operations
  • Hire staff
  • Certify the technical quality of the group’s products and services


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville